Sunday, February 12, 2012

Time out or not?

Discipline is always a tough thing. there are so many different approaches, it's hard to figure out what fits you and your child. Most people I know here in the States use the time-out technique... When your child misbehaves, you sit them on a previously agreed upon "time out chair" and make them stay there for a specific amount of time.

My husband and I have discussed this method but don't think it would work for us.
First, I like the idea of taking the child out of the situation, to help him calm down. But I am not a great fan of the punishment aspect of it.
Second, we are both pretty sure that if we told an angry A to stay in one specific spot, he would totally not stay there, and then what do you do? Use physical force to restrain him? I think the whole thing would create an even bigger fight than what we started out with.
So what do we do? It depends on the problem. He rarely has tantrums at home, so we can usually work things out by either talking it out, or if he's angry and not listening, I stop playing or talking until he's ready to reason.
If he's not doing something we asked him to do, the threat of counting to ten usually works. If he's getting out of control, I take him to our family room (which is carpeted) and let him calm down there, then we talk and I explain why what he did is not OK.
When he has a tantrum outside, I have usually resorted to putting him in the car's backseat and sitting in the front seat without talking or looking at him, until he calms down. It usually only takes a few minutes for him to calm down and be ready to talk about the situation.
Of course on the tantrum days, I feel like things are really hard, but most days we really don't run into many problems that would require any kind of discipline. I also minimize the number of situations where I know things might get tough ( I try not to take him too much to stores that have toys, for example), or I clearly explain the rules ahead of time (we're not buying anything/ you can't hit the other kids) and make it clear that if the rule is broken, we have to leave.
Of course, it would be great to have a magic recipe that works every time but I don't think it exists.
So I guess we'll keep with what we're doing, for now, and I might investigate other techniques.

What discipline techniques do you use? What works for you and why?

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